The cost of raising a hen

There is an egg in the coop! Okay, let me rephrase that. There are TWO eggs in the coop! When I checked on the chickens today I found two surprises. I knew that they were getting close to laying. Yesterday I didn’t check in on them and then today I found two on the floor in opposites corners. Now I am going to have to try to convince them to lay in their nesting boxes.

So how much did we spend raising our chicks to laying hens? I’m not going to count the cost of building the coop because there are much cheaper ways to make them than what we did. Here is a list of our expenses.

$35 in chicks (12 chicks with one death)
$90 in chicken feed (275 lbs)
$28 in bedding materials
$20 in scratch grain (which is optional)

That makes a total cost of $173 spent in 149 days (or basically 5 months). You could shave some money off if you could find cheaper bedding, didn’t buy scratch grain, and let them free range more so the expense of feed would be lower. Then again I’m not counting the cost of operating the heat lamps. With what we spent, it works out to about $16 per chicken before the eggs start rolling in. That makes our two little eggs worth $86.50 each.

This entry was posted in Livestock. Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to The cost of raising a hen

  1. Lynn says:

    Congrats on your first eggs!!! I’m sure it will be worth it, although right now those eggs are pretty valuable! Your numbers are interesting – we are planning on starting with chickens next year, so your statistics are important to me.

    Do you know which chicken/s laid the eggs?


  2. Rachael says:

    How did they taste? What did you make?

  3. lee says:

    Lynn — No we don’t know which chicken is laying. I wish we did! It can’t be Jake or Elwood, as Araucana’s lay green/blue eggs (to match their feet). All the rest of our breeds lay brown eggs. I’m inclined to think it’s one of the Bobs (Barred Rocks), as their eggs are described as light to medium brown with a touch of pink.

    Rachael — We haven’t eaten them yet. Robin wants to do a post comparing them to a purchased egg, but our hens haven’t got to free range a lot lately with the house construction (dogs in the chicken pen). I’m not sure if there will be a difference … at least in color. (Grass consumption causes bright yellow eggs.) They are a lot smaller than AA eggs in the store. Hens lay progressively larger eggs during the first couple months of laying. The early ones can even be without a shell, although I have no idea what that looks like.

  4. Rachael says:

    Hmm, I didn’t know that about color or sizes. Either way, at least now you know where your eggs came from. I read that even “free range” at the store means they can leave their cage for five minutes.

  5. Leigh says:

    Well, on the bright side, they will cost less and less the more that are laid. ­čÖé

  6. Pingback: Elwood laid an egg… » Farm Folly

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *